Last night I had dinner with some of my best girls – Vero, Brandi & Demet.  Demet is always the greatest host and knows how to put out a spread that you could graze on for hours (…and we did).  I always get to try something new with her, and last night I got to add two new things to my list of consumed Turkish foods.  The first was Halva, a sweet confection make from ground sesame seed, sugar and pistachios (but looks like chicken salad from a distance).  It was really interesting… and I think I liked it.  😉  The other treat was rose petal jam, which I COULD NOT GET ENOUGH OF.  It was so delicious.  You spread it on fresh bread or pastries, and a little goes a long way.  It has such a distinct taste, almost like old woman perfume, while still being mouth-watering good.  You must try it, I think you can purchase it at Mediterranean stores.

During dinner, I noticed a safety-pin on Demet’s shirt, and I asked her why it was there.  She said her mom gave it to her the last time she was in the US to protect her from the evil eye.  I had no idea what she was talking about, so I had to ask her to explain further.  It is a superstitious belief just like any other – four leaf clovers or black cats.  They have different ways of protecting themselves from the bad energy of the evil eye, such as safety pins or a Nazar…and that’s when she presented me with my very own amulet (below).  I am about as superstitious as they come, so I was really happy to receive such an interesting gift.

There are few things in the world better than quality time with your friends, people who know almost everything about you and still love you through and through.  We had wonderful conversation about the things going on in each of our lives over wine and amazing food.  Things change so rapidly, don’t they?  Even if it seems subtle, when talking or summarizing to another person you realize just how quickly life phases come and go.  I am so glad that I have people to share those moments with.

My Nazar eye from Demet.

Rose Petal Jam from Turkey

Lily mean muggin’ in front of the Sidewalk Film Festival yard sign. 🙂

Dinner with Demet, Brandi and Vero